Reaction to the ACC’s decision to move championships

Staff reports

Among the reactions to Wednesday’s decision by the ACC:

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, a Kings Mountain Republican: “It is very unfortunate that the NCAA and ACC have decided to move their scheduled events out of North Carolina. No one ever wants to lose events under any circumstances, but these organizations are certainly entitled to host their events wherever they choose. The truth remains that this law was never about and does not promote discrimination. We will continue to advocate that North Carolina is a great place to live, do business, hold events and to visit.”

Gov. Pat McCrory: “The issue of redefining gender and basic norms of privacy will be resolved in the near future in the United States court system for not only North Carolina, but the entire nation. I strongly encourage all public and private institutions to both respect and allow our nation’s judicial system to proceed without economic threats or political retaliation toward the 22 states that are currently challenging government overreach.”

Attorney General Roy Cooper, Democratic candidate for governor: “I’m incredibly disappointed in the news this week. It’s clear we cannot wait until November to repeal House Bill 2. This is not just about sports, this is about communities in North Carolina suffering real economic blows. The news this week made it clear that there is no end in sight to the losses we’ll face unless this law is repealed. Unfortunately, we’ve seen no leadership from our governor on this issue. He has doubled down on this bad law as our state has taken hit after hit. And he’s not only ignoring the impact on communities, but actively attacking businesses and organizations who dare speak out against House Bill 2. This is not who we are as North Carolinians, and it doesn’t have to go this way.”

N.C. Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds: “This is another loss for North Carolina that could have been easily avoided – another disappointing day for the state. How much more money and how many more jobs does North Carolina have to lose before Governor McCrory stops pointing fingers and fixes his mistake? It is way past time to repeal this disastrous law.”

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of N.C. Values Coalition: “The ACC and NCAA announcements are an attempt to force the State of North Carolina to sacrifice our children’s safety on the altar of political correctness, and legislators who voted to stop this trend should think twice before they abandon our children.”

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt and N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson, in a joint statement: “We appreciate the Council of Presidents’ reaffirmation of the ACC’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as the decision to keep ACC championship contests on our campuses. However, we regret today’s decision will negatively affect many North Carolinians, especially in the affected host communities. UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C .State remain steadfast in our commitment to welcoming and supporting all people.”

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht: “Regardless of one’s views of this bathroom issue, it is harming every single person in North Carolina through lost revenue, lost business, and a negative perception which has unknown implications. ... As elected leaders, we should be asking ourselves at every decision point, ‘is this in the public interest or is this to support a personal or political cause?’ It is time that our legislators and our governor ask themselves that question. How much longer must the citizens of Cary and citizens of this state suffer before the political games end? Enough already!”

Rev. Mark Creech of the conservative Christian Action League: “Let me take this opportunity to say that every dirty bird from atheistic Marxism to gay activism seeks to build a nest and lay its eggs in the minds of students on public colleges and universities. Collegiate sports is the calling card for these institutions of higher learning – their billboards for attracting young people. Should it not be terribly disconcerting that the NCAA and the ACC represent the people who are teaching and training our children? Only the most misguided in life would insist men should be allowed to use a women's bathroom, locker room, or shower ... Only a reprobate mind would insist these once cherished, absolute, and immovable verities must now take a backseat to the purely subjective reasoning of transgenderism.”

N.C. House minority leader Larry Hall, a Durham Democrat, in a tweet: “We need a special session to repeal this disaster immediately!!”

Rep. Chris Sgro, a Greensboro Democrat and executive director of Equality North Carolina, in a tweet: “@PatMcCroryNC has just cost our state – and my city – our legendary @theACC events. We can’t afford your pride anymore, guv.”

N.C. Family Policy Council, in a tweet: “Insanity of today’s decision: ACC presidents unaware? 28 states have similar laws to NC & 25 states suing Obama admin over bathroom policy!”

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, in a tweet: “How many companies and sports organizations have to leave NC before the Governor & NCGA leadership wake up to the 21st Century & repeal HB2? Hard working North Carolina families deserve better.”

Statement from Carolina Panthers: “We are aware of the decision from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Although we are disappointed, we remain steadfast in providing an inclusive environment at Bank of America Stadium. As we stated last summer, after more than 20 years of operations, we undoubtedly have had transgender persons attend events here and, presumably, they have used the restroom of the gender with which they identify. Our organization is against discrimination and has a long history of treating all of our patrons at Bank of America Stadium with dignity and respect.”

Statement from Durham Bulls: “Our partners at the Atlantic Coast Conference had a difficult decision to make regarding the location of neutral site championships throughout the state of North Carolina. We understand the conference’s position, and support our partner’s decision to remove those championships from North Carolina. We look forward to a resolution of this issue, so that we can welcome the tournament back to Durham in future years. We have opposed House Bill 2 from the beginning, and continue to share that sentiment.”

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, a Concord Republican: “This is political theater by the NCAA and ACC. If these multi-million dollar, tax-exempt organizations were interested in social change and not making a political statement, they would proceed with their marquee events in North Carolina and enact any transgender bathroom policy they wanted. This blatant political move – less than two months before the election – brings into question their tax-exempt status. This is an avenue to we intend to explore.”

Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO Tom Murray: “The cancellation of the 2016 ACC Football Championship is a blow to Charlotte’s visitor economy and is irreplaceable at this late date. The event has consistently generated significant economic impact for the city that greatly contributes to our quality of life in Charlotte and in North Carolina and helps sustain thousands of jobs. We’ve proven to be a welcoming host city for these events and hope we’ll have the opportunity to bring the championship back to Charlotte in future years.”

Dan Blue III, Democratic candidate for state treasurer, in a tweet: “The ACC & NCAA spent more time deliberating the fallout of HB2 than @PatMcCroryNC and the General Assembly did when they passed HB2. HB2 is a threat to our AAA credit rating and our ability to build new infrastructure. It’s past time for it to be repealed.”

Kevin Rogers of the liberal advocacy group Action NC, in a tweet: “McCrory presiding over loss of the ACC and NCAA events. Forget the Carolina Comeback – can we get our basketball to come back?”

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